Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Have a Jabsco flexible impeller mash pump that keeps eating impellers.  Put a new impeller (not cheap) on yesterday and pumped 140 degree mash through a 2" tube-in-tube heat exchange (took about 2 hours to get to pitching temp) and then pumped to the fermenter from the mash tun.  Using 2 inch distillery hose.  10' hose from the mash tun drain to the pump input, 10' hose to the input of the heat exchanger, and 20' up into the manhole of the mash tun.   Pump is 1.5" connections so have reducers on the pump input and output.  Running the pump at half speed.

Running a 28-gallon mash.  Using exogenous enzymes and the consistency seems plenty thin.  Grain is milled through a 1/8" sieve. Mash bill is 70% corn, 20% rye, 5% wheat and 5% barley.   1.065+ SG obtained.  Fermentation is very happy. 

But lost three fins on the new impeller.   We could hear them go pretty early in the beginning of the pumping start.

This won't work.

Any thoughts and ideas would be welcome.  Also working with the dealer to get advice. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey @Patio29Dadio

 

It is very likely your temperature. I use these 1.5"  flexible impeller pumps daily and every time I use it for hot water the impellers get destroyed. I know they offer EPDM versions that can handle higher temps, (140F) should be fine for the higher temp rated ones. 

 

Check your manufacturer, they should have EPDM ones avail. careful going hotter than 140 though cause even they will degrade quicker with high temps. 

I Use my rubber impeller for cold pumps only, and a centrifugal for hot water transfer. 

 

Hope that helps, 

 

Cheers, 

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 a standard neoprene impeller is rated to 180 degrees F. Sounds like your pump is likely being run dry, running them dry causes fast impeller failure. Id suggest putting a sight glass inline to visually verify flow.

  • reaction_title_1 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was having problems burning thru my USFIP impellers. The solution was to leave it disassembled every night and allow the neoprene to dry/breath. The past two impellers have lasted 8+ months each. I love my USFIP and the supplier has been very responsive/helpful. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is EDPM impellers that are getting wasted.   Sounds like I need neoprene impellers.  I am going to give that a try along with the other recommendations above.  Thanks team!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We ate a few $70 dollar impellers too in the beginning. The last one has lasted over a year. Here's what we do.

1) Always run the pump in the same direction (sharpie arrows to ensure everybody does this) as the blades on the impeller bend to fit the cavity and reversing directions is very rough on them. 

2)Never run the pump at '10' or full speed. I only push it to about 7 on the dial.

3) Always lubricate the pump impeller with food safe silicone after each 'chore'. To do this I pump hot water (150ish F.) until the metal housing around the impeller is hot to the touch (after cleaning the pump and lines according to your level of sanitation). Once the impeller is nice and hot I remove the hoses and tip the pump up (forward) or even hold it upside down to get as much water out as possible while still running slow. Then I take a small dab (like as much as you use toothpaste) and let hot metal housing melt the silicone and let it run down into the impeller. The sound will change from a rubber squealing to a gently slopping (ha!). Invert or tip far forward again to drain any more water/silicone. if it is still angry sounding I add another dab of silicone and tip the pump forward and backward to get it to coat everything.   Store the pump at the end of the day like that.

 

Here's the lube I use: https://morewinemaking.com/products/cip-film-4-oz.html

Or this if you have the bucks: https://morewinemaking.com/products/silicone-spray-12-oz.html

 

Get a bunch of tubes to save yourself time later. Or look on Amazon for cheaper maybe (but I like those guys at MoreWine).

(the key I found it is really heating the unit up to ensure the silicone melts and coats all surfaces)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just picked up a new jabsco from a distillery liquidation and I also have experienced the same problem. I just pulled the impeller and this is how it looks after 2-3 hours of use.

https://imgur.com/a/2NE7vCZ

If someone wants a deal on a 1.5" triclamp jabsco pump with VFD on a SS cart, please PM me. Otherwise it will be on eBay shortly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Skaalvenn said:

I just picked up a new jabsco from a distillery liquidation and I also have experienced the same problem. I just pulled the impeller and this is how it looks after 2-3 hours of use.

https://imgur.com/a/2NE7vCZ

If someone wants a deal on a 1.5" triclamp jabsco pump with VFD on a SS cart, please PM me. Otherwise it will be on eBay shortly.

What were you pumping????  I might be interested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Sudzie said:

What were you pumping????  I might be interested.

Wheat mash and rum wash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you go forward and reverse? Did you lubricate it? Run full speed? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I pump rum mash, grain in wheat and corn mash (2+pounds a gallon) , mixed grain (whole grains not flour) mash, low wines, wine, etc and my impeller looks like the same type as above. 1.5 inch pump. No issues following the above protocol. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, kelbor said:

Did you go forward and reverse?

It's rated for doing that, no? The owners manual states it is reversible

1 hour ago, kelbor said:

Did you lubricate it?

.The owners manual only mentions lubricating the shaft on re-assembly of the pump head.

1 hour ago, kelbor said:

Run full speed? 

The owners manual states it can run up to 1750RPM, so yes, but not typically that high as we wanted to avoid premature wear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So....no on all three tips basically.

Ok. Sell it then for cheap. Or, at least try doing something what works for someone else in the real world. Your choice. 

(The tips I gave above and use came from the guys at Morewine when I was buying my third impeller and asking WTF is happening- and they worked for me...even though the pump runs both ways and goes to 10 on the dial)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, kelbor said:

So....no on all three tips basically.

Ok. Sell it then for cheap. Or, at least try doing something what works for someone else in the real world. Your choice. 

(The tips I gave above and use came from the guys at Morewine when I was buying my third impeller and asking WTF is happening- and they worked for me...even though the pump runs both ways and goes to 10 on the dial)

 

So just to be clear, I shouldn't reverse the jabsco, I shouldn't run it anywhere near full speed (20gpm is already painfully slow), I shouldn't pump hot liquids, and I should spray lubricant in it daily?  If that's how it should be operated, then I have no use for it.

Nobody I know with a USFip has to do this kind of babying with their pump.

  • reaction_title_1 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have used our centrifugal pump exclusively for years running : bourbon mash, wheat mash, malt mash, grape concentrate, molasses......, from tun to fermenters, through tube and shell exchangers, from fermenter to stills, etc....  Temps from 50f to 185f. 

So far are maintenance and repair has amounted to: zero.

The only reason I could see for running an impeller is for the self priming aspect. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah- they suck. I do what we do so I don’t have to drop money regularly on parts. The only reason we have one is to hat we got it cheap from a winery. I run ours at 35 gpm ( must be larger than yours). Would love a centrifugal pump but couldn’t afford it off the beginning.

2 hours ago, Skaalvenn said:

 

So just to be clear, I shouldn't reverse the jabsco, I shouldn't run it anywhere near full speed (20gpm is already painfully slow), I shouldn't pump hot liquids, and I should spray lubricant in it daily?  If that's how it should be operated, then I have no use for it.

Nobody I know with a USFip has to do this kind of babying with their pump.

Sounds like you need to sell....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Roger said:

We have used our centrifugal pump exclusively for years running : bourbon mash, wheat mash, malt mash, grape concentrate, molasses......, from tun to fermenters, through tube and shell exchangers, from fermenter to stills, etc....  Temps from 50f to 185f. 

So far are maintenance and repair has amounted to: zero.

The only reason I could see for running an impeller is for the self priming aspect. 

Same, except we've also used it for moving boiling water and freshly distilled mash.  The only thing I've done in about 4 years is replacing the two o-rings for a cost of about $2.

We got the jabsco as part of a package and I was excited to get it as I had wanted a FIP for a while since they can completely pump out a tank and they make cleaning the line of mash very easy.  At the end of pumpout bring the pump speed way down low, shut the valve and pop the triclamp and almost every bit of mash stays in the hose and not onto the floor. Begin filling the hose with water and just pump it all out.

With the centrifugal there was always a gallon or two in the lines. Double valving at the fermenter helped, but you still always put the liquid between the two onto the floor.

I've had friends running their USFIP hard, daily, and it seems an impeller each year is about the norm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Skaalvenn said:

I've had friends running their USFIP hard, daily, and it seems an impeller each year is about the norm.

We run a USFIP like that and that's been our experience. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Skaalvenn said:

With the centrifugal there was always a gallon or two in the lines.

I put a T and a valve on the bottom of whatever im pumping from and hook up a hose to the valve. Then close the valve from where i'm pumping as I open the water side so i can push the grain in the hose through with water, and only put water on the floor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, adamOVD said:

I put a T and a valve on the bottom of whatever im pumping from and hook up a hose to the valve. Then close the valve from where i'm pumping as I open the water side so i can push the grain in the hose through with water, and only put water on the floor.

That's a pretty dang good idea!

  • reaction_title_1 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Skaalvenn said:

That's a pretty dang good idea!

I get them on rare occasions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a few people in this thread have had issues burning through impellers with Jabsco pumps, US-FIP pumps, and the Italian FIP pumps that MoreWine sells. Flexible impeller pumps have well-known shortcomings. You don't have to baby them, but you do have to know about those shortcomings and take precautions to mitigate them.

I'm attaching a troubleshooting guide that shows illustrations of what impeller failure looks like under different conditions. It's made by Jabsco, but should apply to other brands as well.

There's a lot to unpack in this thread, but I'm happy to answer any questions about Jabsco pumps. We've been selling them for decades in wine, beer and spirits, and I truly believe that in this price range there's no better pump. If you want to spend more you can pretty much have it all—dry running, forward/reverse, self priming, solids handling—but in the sub-$5,000 range your options are more limited. If you need to move viscous solids, you're either looking at air diaphragm pumps or flexible impeller pumps.

I've certainly seen people burn through impellers, but there's always a reason. Likewise, I know folks who've gone years without changing impellers.

If you're losing blades on the impeller—particularly at startup—then all signs point running dry. @captnKB is right on the money: use a sight glass at the inlet to keep an eye on things.

As far as reversing you can definitely do it, but there are some things to consider:

  • Don't do it right at start-up. Impellers are made of elastomers. Elastomers have a memory. If it's been sitting for a long time with the blades in one direction then reversing it is going to be hard on the blades
  • An old impeller is less flexible than a fresh impeller, and will be more prone to tearing

As far as lubricating the pump on start-up with some food-grade silicone spray or the like: it never hurts, and will certainly extend the life of the impeller. Starting up "wet" will allow you to pull better suction as well.

 

FIP_TROUBLE_SHOOTING_GUIDE.PDF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Using neoprene impellers and food-grade silicone spray.  Not running dry.  Not reversing when hot.  Letting mash cool to at least 140 before moving.   All of this and we have had the same impeller for about a week now.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...